Poetry takes center stage at Dover’s First Friday

DOVER — Shoppers will be serenaded by street buskers as local musicians and poets alternate performing in downtown Dover shops today from 4 to 7 p.m.

And from noon to 7 p.m. today through Saturday, and even into next week, kids of all ages can enjoy a no-touch scavenger hunt that brings them through shops in search of poetry clues, with the help of their smartphones and QR codes. Clues will lead them to famous poets re-imagined by artist Sidney Moore – not as robots, but as “Po-bots.” Each clue gives participants points that will add up to earn them a free poetry “swag bag” full of fun to take home.

Kari Ann Ebert

Award-winning poet, writer, editor and Dover resident, Kari Ann Ebert, is the originator of this literary arts weekend.

“I wanted to help fill a void in Kent County by offering poetry-themed community events, and I approached the Downtown Dover Partnership First Friday planning team about it last January,” said Ms. Ebert. “They enthusiastically embraced the program and I am thrilled to finally be able to launch this weekend. We have a terrific variety of games and activities for all ages. Come enjoy the vibe and find out that poetry isn’t as stuffy as you might think.”

Lori Llewellyn, co-chairwoman of the DDP Merchants Committee wholeheartedly agreed with Ms. Ebert.

“When we met Kari, we immediately wanted to include her in the First Friday mix, but with the COVID concerns we had to postpone,” she said. “While First Fridays have included a broad array of music and visual arts, we are really excited to expand to feature literary arts this month.”

Spoken and written word poets will be sharing their work as they are stationed throughout downtown, even as roving poet Lyndsey Collison weaves her words throughout the streets. Some will even be dressed in vintage clothing using old Remington or other vintage typewriters to write customized poems on the spot for passersby to take home, including Savannah Love in front of SoZo, and Ash Jaudon at the House of Coffi.

Poet Katherine Gekker, author of “In Search of Warm Breathing,” will be at Parke Green Galleries alongside fiddler Nate Grower. Ms. Gekker writes poems at Inova Schar Cancer Institute as part of The Good Listening Project. Caroline Simpson, a 2020 DDOA Established Artist in Poetry, will be at Forney’s Too with Mike Miller playing intermittently.

Ms. Simpson’s chapbook “Choose Your Own Adventure and Other Poems” was published in 2018 by Finishing Line Press. Chapbooks are tiny works collecting poetry, stories, are often themed, and not typically more than 40 pages long. Nayani Scott, whose work centers on social issues, personal emotions and times or things we all experience, is presenting at My Roots.

The scavenger hunt will begin at noon with a QR code on the front of the Cendel building at 101 W. Loockerman St. and swag bags will be available at Tina’s Timeless Threads and My Roots. All venues are supporting social distancing requirements and masks must be worn according to state requirements. This program is subject to last minute changes in performers and venues. For more information, see: https://Tinyurl.com/DoverPoetryWeekend.

The following is a list of performers:

House of Coffi

• Rick Hudson – Singer/Songwriter on guitar and harmonica with a focus on blues, old time country and contemporary pieces.

• Ash Jaudon (typewriter poet/dressed by Tina’s Timeless Threads)

Forney’s Too

• Mike Miller – On acoustic guitar playing Americana themed pieces.

• Caroline Simpson (traditional poet)

Maxine’s Fashions

• Samuel Mace on keyboard accompanied by singer Rashawn King, from jazz to more popular tunes in the acoustic style.

Tina’s Timeless Threads

• Grady O’Connor – Saxophone player playing jazz music along with a backing track.

That Ish Boutique to Zuha Trend

• Luis Figueroa – Singer/guitarist with fusion of rock and jazz.

My Roots

• Tim Jaudon – An acoustic guitarist/singer with music primarily from covers of classic rock, pop, and country.

• Nyani Scott – spoken word poet. Using the rhythm of her words and body expressions, Ms. Scott’s poetry is mainly about social issues, personal emotions and times or things that everyone is jointly experiencing.

Parke Green Galleries

• Nate Grower – On fiddle, he tours internationally with David Bromberg and has mastered the art of bluegrass fiddle with his fiery solos and rhythmic backup.

• Katherine Gekker (typewriter poet/ more traditional)


• Savanah Love (typewriter poet/dressed by Tina)

Roving Poet State and Loockerman streets

• Lyndsey Collison

For more information, email Diane@DowntownDoverPartnership.com, call 302-678-2940 or visit DowntownDover.com.